Lawyers who want to help veterans offered free training course

Lawyers who want to help veterans with service-related disability claims are invited to a free seminar in San Francisco on Monday.

The all-day program begins at 9 a.m. and will be held at the San Francisco office of the New York-based Practicing Law Institute at 685 Market Street.

The program will also be available as a webcast at the institute’s website at www.pli.edu.

Nearly 45 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, known as the VA, for service-related injuries.

Thirty percent of those filings include claims for post-traumatic stress, according to the institute.

Many of those who should receive benefits will be denied, the institute said.

Topics in the Nov. 14 program will include an introduction to veterans’ disability benefits; the claims procedure; and requirements for winning the claim.

In a related issue, some veterans may receive a less than honorable discharge for reasons stemming from a service-related disability.

The final topic of the seminar will be ways of helping a veteran upgrade his or her discharge by applying to the Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military Records of the VA.

Lawyers who attend the program will receive continuing legal education credit from the State Bar of California.

In order to help veterans with claims, attorneys must be certified by the VA. For more information, visit the institute’s website.